Let’s pretend you own a small grocery. Would you allow milk cartons to sit on the shelves so long that the milk soured? Would you neglect to sweep the floors and clean the store regularly? If you did, you wouldn’t be in business long. But oddly, hundreds of businesses fail to update and clean one of their main assets–their customer mailing list.
True, your mailing list is not a product. But the mailing list has tremendous value because it is a major avenue that connects you to your current and potential customers. If it is full of potholes and blocked with fallen trees and dead wood, you won’t be able to reach all of your customers.
Your mailing list is not a static document. Your customers are changing–some are moving, some are marrying, some are divorcing, others are dying. Odds are, they won’t alert you about these changes in their lives, so you have to do your best to keep the list updated. Most businesses turn this job over to a company like Bluegrass Integrated Communications, which can easily run a series of programs, including National Change of Address, against your mailing list to ensure the addresses are as accurate as possible.
Every year, your mailing list will get smaller unless you make an effort to collect addresses of new or prospective customers. There are a number of ways to gather new names and we recommend that our clients employ as many as they can. If your business sees its customers face-to-face, invite them to sign up for a loyalty program when they check out. If your company has an exhibit at a tradeshow or conference, invite attendees to sign up for a door prize. Award points or prizes to current customers who supply referrals. Include a “sign up for our mailing list” button on your website.
No matter what business you are in, there is a mailing list of new potential customers that can be used to expand your customer base. Purchased lists can mimic your current customers. Lists can also be created based on geographical areas.
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